Originally posted: 5/01/2020
For David said, “The Lord God of Israel has given rest to His people, and He dwells in Jerusalem forever,” (23:25).
Yes, I know… two chapters of, yes, another census. But let’s hang in there… it gets better!
Solomon is now the king, and plans are in the making for the construction of the permanent dwelling place for the Lord. This section of Chronicles is devoted to the genealogies of the Levites and priests; beginning with those who ministered in the days of the tabernacle and culminating with those who are to be restored to their homeland, and now would be called to serve in the house of the Lord.
I have often thought of what it must have been like to wander in the wilderness. But it wasn’t just the wandering; it was the packing, the carrying, the setting up camp and breaking it down, and especially the meticulous attention demanded to pack and transport the tabernacle; it was the lack of roots.
I confess, packing stresses me out. The thought of a life that could be interrupted and sent into packing mode at the blink of an eye (or at the move of a pillar of fire or cloud) reminds me how grateful I am, that on most days, I live a life with roots, the life of a homebody.
And in the middle of chapters 23 and 24, in the midst of this census, this sea of names, we run into this profound truth through David’s prophetic word of promise; a promise that reaches across both the Old and New Testaments.
These were the sons of Levi according to their fathers’ households… in the number of names by their census, doing the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from twenty years old and upward. 25 For David said, “The Lord God of Israel has given rest to His people, and He dwells in Jerusalem forever. 26 Also, the Levites will no longer need to carry the tabernacle and all its utensils for its service,” (23:24-26).
These words stopped me in my tracks, “The Lord God of Israel has given rest to His people, and He dwells in Jerusalem forever.”
I couldn’t help but feel as though the Lord had called His temple servants to the life of a homebody, to put down roots. Through His Restoration, His people are invited to a life centered around the place He had established as His dwelling place; His house; in other words, His home.
And now, back in their homeland, the returning community’s concentration is immediately turned to the provision needed to restore worship, under the leadership of the priests, who would serve as mediators, and the Levites, who would assist in serving.
But ultimately, His prophetic Word of promise would be fully realized in Christ Jesus, the Perfect Priest, Who would come as His Mediator to Root us in His Restoration.
Consider Him Who Roots Us in His Restoration
- His Restoration, Rooted in His Rest: “The Lord God of Israel has given rest to His people,”
- “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light,” (Matthew 11:28-30).
- His Restoration, Rooted in Relationship with Him: “The Lord God of Israel has given rest to His people,”
- “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word,” (John 17:6).
- His Restoration, Rooted in His Residence among His people: “and He dwells in Jerusalem forever.”
- The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified concerning Him and exclaimed,” This was the One of whom I said, ‘The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me,’” (John 1:14-15 HCSB).
- His Restoration, Rooted in His Release from the workload: “Also, the Levites will no longer need to carry the tabernacle and all its utensils for its service.”
- But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; (Romans 3:21-24 emphasis added).
How do we respond to Him Who Roots Us in His Restoration?
The Lord God placed His creation in the perfect garden, a place where Adam and Eve were intended to dwell with their Creator forever, Rooted in His love and presence.
And in their choice to rebel against Him, they were uprooted from perfect fellowship with Holy God. But His heart of Restoration was moved immediately towards His provision to restore the banished ones once again, and return them to His presence.
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel,” (Genesis 3:15).
His Restoration is Rooted in His Perfect Provision, our Perfect Priest and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. And when we place our faith in His finished work on the cross, something beyond the natural occurs, we are supernaturally Restored and Rooted in Him.
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude, (Colossians 2:6-7).
Today, let us seriously consider this truth, we are firmly Rooted in Him. That is security. Let us walk confidently in His Restoration: in His Rest and our Relationship with Him, as He Resides in us and Releases us from the workload of attempting to live for Him through our own efforts.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing… 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full,” (John 15:8-11).
His Restoration brings Him all the glory and produces fruit in our lives. His Restoration convinces us of His love and prompts us in obedience. His Restoration grows us in His image and fills our lives with joy.
Today, let’s Rest in Him. Let’s dedicate time to enjoy our Relationship with Him. Let us consecrate our whole beings to Him Who Resides in our bodies as His temple. And let us take hold of His Release from the workload as we trust His Restoration in Jesus Christ.
And when we do, we will be enabled to help others to return to Him Who Roots Us in His Restoration.
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ, (Galatians 6:1-2).